In a vote earlier today (50-49), the Senate passed President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief package. The bill included $880 million in funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), including $490 million to enhance WIC benefits for four months and $390 million in outreach, innovation, and program modernization funding.
Rev. Douglas Greenaway, President & CEO of the National WIC Association, issued the following statement in response:
“Senate passage of the comprehensive COVID relief package is a crucial step in delivering needed assistance to families impacted by this ongoing pandemic. The critical investments included in WIC programs will provide meaningful support to families experiencing this pandemic's economic and public health consequences. The National WIC Association applauds both the House and Senate’s passage of this comprehensive COVID relief package. We also thank Senator Stabenow for shepherding this process forward.
"This package temporarily expands WIC’s nutrition support by more than tripling the fruit and vegetable benefit for a period of four months. This investment will support our nation’s families in accessing nutritious foods through this pandemic and support fruit and vegetable producers struggling during the pandemic.
"The additional funding for WIC provided will also support WIC outreach, innovation, and program modernization, critical to expanding WIC’s public health impact. For every $1 invested in WIC, there is a return on investment of at least $2.48 in medical, education, and productivity costs. These investments in WIC invest in our nation's immediate and long-term health, food, and economic security. As families continue to struggle through this pandemic, this legislation will provide the overdue relief needed until this public health and economic crisis is resolved. The National WIC Association looks forward to the final House vote and the American Rescue Plan being signed into law by President Biden.”